In 2008, nearly 1.5 billion adults were overweight, including 500 million who were obese. There has been no sign of slowing down either.
These are dangerous numbers, my friends.
But I want to share with you something that has really peaked my interest – a statistic that I find quite jaw-dropping to say the least.
The numbers that really stand out to me come straight from Statistics Canada. I live in Canada so I care about my people.
In 2009, a survey showed that a whopping 24.1 percent of adults in Canada are obese.
Canadian women, particularly those in the 20-39 age bracket, are becoming overweight faster than almost any other women in the high-income world.
Look around you. One out of every FOUR Canadians is obese. We are getting fatter and there are no signs of slowing down.
This is HUGE (no pun intended).
The world has been putting on roughly 2.5-3 pounds of weight a decade for EACH person on the planet and Canada has definitely been helping as it has some of the highest average body mass indexes among the wealthy nations (thankfully still less than the US).
The average BMI for Canadian women rose from 24.1 in 1980, to 26.7 in 2008. For Canadian men, the average BMI rose from 25.2 in 1980 to 27.5 in 2008.
Remember that BMI (body mass index) is a ratio of weight to height. Check out this BMI calculator to see where you stand. A BMI of 25 and over puts you in the overweight category while a BMI of 30 and up puts you in the obese category.
Dr. Arya Sharma, scientific director of the Canadian Obesity Network and a professor of medicine at the University of Alberta said “When you have a BMI of 26 as an average, that means that there’s a lot of people out there who actually have severe clinical obesity, and need treatment.
Canada is eating its way into a public health crisis.
When you consider the medical costs of obesity, of treating related cases of diabetes, heart disease, hip and knee replacements, it’s clear that we have a serious problem.”
What’s the big deal with obesity anyways?
In addition to the diabetes risk, excess weight heightens the risk for heart attack, stroke and cancers and contributes to nearly three million deaths every year worldwide, the researchers wrote in The Lancet.
High blood pressure is the leading risk factor for death from cardiovascular disease and causes more than 7 million deaths every year worldwide.
Obesity is literally starting to reverse life-expectancy gains in high-income nations.
Our longevity is at risk.
So what can be done?
Without a doubt, reversing obesity is going to be a long and painful journey. But we need to start somewhere, and we need to start right away.
The game of weight loss is simple but it’s not easy. It’s about making simple lifestyle changes and having the patience to see them through. Simple lifestyle changes lead to massive lifestyle improvements.
I can give you all the advice in the world but if your mind and heart are not set on making a change, then nothing can help. Find your source of motivation. Whether it’s being there for your grandchildren or impressing the new HR girl at work, you need something that will drive you to push through those difficult times.
It’s time to make a change.
The world is getting heavier. My fellow Canadians are in rough shape.
We all need to step up and work together to reverse this epidemic.
How are you going to make a difference?